Top critical review
160 people found this helpful
Jekyll and Hyde
on 13 October 2011
I bought this satnav as an upgrade from my original TomTom 1 version 2. It really is a Jekyll and Hyde device. When it works it is great, really great. The smart routing automatically guided me around a slow horse-box one time, and the traffic alerts are way more accurate than overhead gantry signs or anything you hear on the radio - very impressive. The Google search is outstanding - you can search for, for example, a coffee shop close to you, on your route, or close to your destination; wonderful !
But when it gives problems it is terrible. The first sign of trouble was when Google search stopped working; it told me it couldn't contact the server, even all the other Live services (e.g. traffic) worked fine. I contacted TomTom support (after a long wait) and the techie advised resetting to factory values, which worked. The trouble is there is no way to back-up your settings. You can back-up your favourites, but that's all and it is very obviously an after-thought in the software. You can't back-up anything else, so getting the device back to how you like it is a long & tedious affair.
A week later it started rebooting every minute or so. This time I was away from home so couldn't restore my favourites after resetting to factory values. It worked, again, but I had to re-enter all my settings by hand, again.
The bottom line is that when it works properly it is fantastic, the best satnav I have used, but it's flaky. TomTom appear to have taken this device to market before it is ready, and before they are ready to adequately support it. If you are going to buy one I advise you wait for 6-12 months while TomTom iron out the very obvious bugs, and train their techies to suggest things other than "Reset to Factory Settings".
UPDATE - 2 years later. I have kept the unit up to date with all updates and have kept Live services going and I have now lost patience with TomTom. My unit has completely stopped showing safety camera alerts despite my Live subscription being up to date, and I'm not the only one - search Google for "tomtom live 820 cameras" and see what comes up. The scary thing is that other TomToms clearly use the same firmware/software, so the erratic behaviour I am seeing is also seen on other, more expensive TomToms. I have bought my last TomTom. If anyone knows how I can trade this thing in for a Garmin please reply here.